[Click here to read Karlos Gauna Schmieder's Response to Makani]

I had a conversation a few years back with an organizer from the organization formerly known as ACORN. Just a few days before, the 2005 living wage ballot measure in Albuquerque had lost by less than two percent of the vote. The organizer was expressing her frustration that funders were "getting caught up" in resourcing communications strategies to mobilize mainstream audiences in response to the fact that the Albuquerque campaign was the first effort where opposition put money into media, testing a message that framed living wage as anti choice and impinging on workplace freedom. The media, in her analysis, was effective with the opposition but the coalition’s base of supporters was solid and the actual majority. They would have won, she believed, if they had resources for a few more organizers to get their folk to the polls.

Makani Themba

makani-photoSushma Sheth interviewed Makani Themba-Nixon for Organizing Upgrade in mid-2009.

Sushma: These are dramatic times, politically, socially and economically.  What do you think are the most significant shifts happening right now and how do you think they change the context of our work.  Clearly, your knowledge and skills base is broad.  So please draw from whatever is relevant, especially from your experiences organizing within the black community as well as your media work.